At the March Australian National Council meeting, Allan Hambleton, National Office manager, made a presentation regarding the steadily increasing workload. He explained that the Good News subscriber list had increased from approximately 3,500 in 1995 to over 20,000 in total distribution today.
In addition to this sixfold increase in workload resulting from the growth in the GN subscriber activity and the development of multilevel subscriber development programs, activity on the Australian Web site has increased geometrically. This much sought after and pleasing growth in subscribers and responses from the Internet—and the administrative work associated with them—had caused a reassessment of the way these matters are currently being handled at the office.
Web Volunteer to Retire
As these systems were under consideration, Harold Ingham of the Melbourne East congregation, who has been donating many hours of his time each week to assist in developing the UCG–Australia Web site, Internet advertising programs and reporting systems, notified the staff that he planned to gradually phase out these responsibilities over the next 12 to 18 months.
After discussions it was agreed that, since the Web site has become such an important part of the media efforts and would likely become even more important in the near future, the prudent decision would be to transfer the Web site back into the National Office as Mr. Ingham recommended.
The National Council was informed that, even if one of the webmasters were not retiring, there was already a need for at least 15 hours of additional help.
Therefore it was recommended that Ruth Root, one of the co-webmasters, spend more time on Web matters and Internet advertising and delegate some of the more routine administrative office and Web site tasks.
New Employee Hired
The National Council agreed to add another person to the office staff and agreed that even after employing the additional person, giving a total of 31/ 2 office employees, the Australian National Office would be operating in a cost-effective and efficient manner.
Alisha Herold was hired in June to fill the new position. "We are very happy to have her," said Ruth Root.